Music Review: Lorde, “Melodrama”

Music Review: Lorde, “Melodrama”

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It’s no secret that Lorde is wise beyond her years. When she penned her debut single, “Royals,” she was fifteen years old; sixteen when she achieved international recognition as the leading musical talent of her generation (shortly before his passing, David Bowie took her hands in his and told her that she “sounds like tomorrow.”) With her 2013 debut album, “Pure Heroine,” the world was introduced to not only a gifted songstress, but a peculiar person who somehow understood the complexities, ironies, triumphs, and tragedies of one’s teenage years – all while still living it. To say that there was pressure for the young artist to achieve that same level of success for her next project is an understatement. For four years, the then teenager obsessed over her highly-anticipated follow-up. During this time, she moved back home to New Zealand, experienced her first heartbreak, tried to be a normal teenager, met Jack Antonoff of Bleachers and fun., moved to New York to record her album in his and Lena Dunham’s Brooklyn Brownstone, and ceberated her 20th birthday. The culmination of all this is “Melodrama,” a powerful look into young adulthood. The album centers around a raucous house party and it’s partygoers – a microcosm of all the elation and devastation experienced during one’s later teenage years. “Melodrama” is Lorde transitioning into adulthood. In the album’s first single, she gives herself the “Green Light” to let loose for one night before picking up the pieces of a failed relationship and moving on the next morning; on “Liability,” she wonders if she’s too much for other people, even unworthy of friendships and love. The album is beautifully produced by Antonoff – staying true to Lorde’s aesthetic and breaking all the conventional rules of pop music by mixing house piano with banger beats. “Melodrama” is an album about discovering one’s place amongst all the noise and chaos of the world – especially young women fighting for autonomy in a society where their voice isn’t always taken seriously.

Check out Lorde’s website here: https://lorde.co.nz/

Bay Area Concert Review: Foxygen, My Guilty Pleasure

Bay Area Concert Review: Foxygen, My Guilty Pleasure

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Recording duo Sam France and Jonathan Rado, who make up the indie rock group, Foxygen, are midway through a US club tour as a 9 piece band (including an awesome brass trio).  I caught their gig in San Francisco on Friday, April 7, on the small stage of The Independent. Unapologetically cliché-ridden, Foxygen played a captivating, high-energy set that was equal parts psychedelic 70’s performance-art and rock concert. France and Rado proudly wear their influences on their sleeves, with overt musical riffs  on their extensive 70’s record collection: Elton John , David Bowie, Captain and Tennille, Donovan, Abba, Exile-era Stones and even James Brown’s stage dynamics made an appearance  during the course of the night. Bandmaster Rado’s piano and guitar playing were outstanding, and the brass section were Motown-esque in their professionalism, but it was France’s stage presence that held the audience’s attention. And for a feel-good Friday night out, you really can’t beat that.

Music Review: of Montreal, “Rune Husk EP”

Music Review: of Montreal, “Rune Husk EP”

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On January 13, experimental band from Athens, Georgia, of Montreal, dropped a surprise EP – Rune Husk. With this new EP, the group is returning to its heavy focus on progressive rock, which has co-dominated the sounds of their last two studio albums (along with a more EDM tone). Of the EP’s four tracks, standouts include “Internecine Larks” and “Stag to the Stable,” the latter having a true David Bowie feel. Listen to the full EP here.

Pitchfork’s “The 50 Best Albums of 2016”

Pitchfork’s “The 50 Best Albums of 2016”

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As 2016 winds down and draws to a close, it is time to look back on the events – as well as the music – that helped shape and define a tumultuous year. Popular online music journal Pitchfork has shared their ranking of ‘The 50 Best Albums of 2016,” which features the bold and welcome return of A Tribe Called Quest after an 18-year hiatus, the final album from the otherworldly David Bowie, and not one, but both, of the Knowles sisters, who, in their albums Lemonade and A Seat at the Table, have redefined the modern protest song. Take a look to see if your favorite album of 2016 made the cut.

http://pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/9980-the-50-best-albums-of-2016/?page=1